Softball players mentor to elementary students before school


photo credit: Abrianna Gilkey

Having a ball \\ Every Thursday before their own school starts, softball players went to Akin and Smith elementaries to mentor students. “My favorite part is helping little kids who struggle with reading and helping them to understand,” varsity pitcher Abigail Hall said.

These girls put down the bat and glove and picked up a book and a smile every Thursday morning before heading to their own school.

In groups of two for seven weeks, softball players went to Smith and Akin elementaries to read to kindergarten and first graders. They also played outside and helped them with math.

“When I saw a kid understand something, and I got to see the light bulb effect, was the best part,” sophomore Jaylie Sibley said.

I helped with a couple of kids if they were struggling with any type of work they needed.”

— Jayden Miles, sophomore

Every week on Thursday mornings, the players arrived at their assigned school by 8 a.m.  Whether they were reading or not, they would help with the younger students. Some working with two students, some with 25. Some groups reading. Some adding and subtracting.

“I helped with a couple of kids if they were struggling with any type of work they needed,” sophomore Jayden Miles said.

Sophomore Abigail Hall is the pitcher on varsity.

“It makes your day,” Hall said, “when you get to see the impact on a kid’s day after helping them.”

Most of the girls agreed that the best part of the morning was walking into the class. Seeing all the younger students jump up out of their chairs to greet the team every time they came.

“When I walked in, they all gave me hugs,” Miles said. “That always put a smile on my face.”

Reading to the elementary students didn’t only help develop mentors, but it also helped increase awareness about the softball program.

“We felt it would be a very kind way to help get the program out there,” Hall said.

Softball’s next game is March 19 At Lovejoy High School.